Holiday chaos

We don’t venture overseas with small children, having had to deal with a 4 year old puking his guts out at cruising altitude a few years ago (hint: the bottom of the sick bags isn’t as durable as one might either expect or hope) but when we have come up against a few irritating money related issues in the times we have.

The headache often starts at home before we’ve even set off, trying to work out the place that gives the best international currency exchange rate. It’s not as simple as it used to be, looking at who gives the best rate, because there are all sorts of fees tied in- and when you add them all together you might find for you that the place giving the notional best exchange rate might not necessarily work out the cheapest. Having said that, we’ve invariably found it better to get the cash out before we’ve gone abroad because using your credit card overseas put you prey to whatever (sometimes seemingly arbitrary) exchange rate the card issuer decides to use, plus the nearly obligatory foreign currency transaction fee.

Funnily enough, since we’ve had kids and not gone abroad, the whole concept of being able to send money online has sort of blossomed. If this sort of thing had been available when I was out in Australia 16 years ago it would have saved me a small fortune in banking fees as I could have simply sent money to my mate Dave  who I was staying with (he was on a two year post doctoral research placement out in Sydney), via the internet, and he could have taken it out of his bank account for a considerably smaller cost to me.

Oh well, my fault for travelling in the dark ages I suppose! Today I would do things very differently…